This Buy Adds Up: Leeds Acquires TouchMath from Millpond

This Buy Adds Up: Leeds Acquires TouchMath from Millpond

Monroe Capital backed the acquisition of TouchMath by providing senior debt as sole lead arranger and administrative agent

TouchMath is designed for pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students and uses a combination of touch and sight to teach basic math concepts such as counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

SOURCE: TouchMath

Leeds Equity Partners has acquired TouchMath, a provider of educational services to students with learning disabilities and those struggling with math concepts, from Millpond Equity.

Colorado Springs, Colorado-headquartered TouchMath is designed for pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students and uses a combination of touch and sight to teach basic math concepts such as counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

TouchMath is supported by instructional materials, digital programs, professional development services, and a screener that can be used to identify signs of dyscalculia, a learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand and work with numbers. The TouchMath program was founded in 1975 by elementary school teacher Janet Bullock who was searching for a better way to assist her struggling students through beginning math.

Source: TouchMath

Millpond acquired a controlling interest in TouchMath in October 2018. Over its investment period, Millpond collaborated with CEO Sean Lockwood, to expand TouchMath’s organization and go-to-market strategy and transitioned the company from a catalog provider, selling primarily to individual teachers, to a direct-to-district marketing and sales organization utilizing digital marketing tools, thought leader marketing, professional public relations and a national sales and account management organization across 13 territories covering all 50 states. As a result of these efforts, the company grew revenue by over 4x while serving hundreds of school districts and thousands of educators and students.

“Millpond’s assistance in helping us develop a complementary team of high-performing sales, marketing, product development, and finance leaders; investing in new processes and optimized systems that modernized our supply chain management and finance functions; and providing overall support as we grew our thought leadership in the special education math market has been invaluable in achieving our results,” said Mr. Lockwood.

“Math proficiency is a critical skill in today’s knowledge-based economy, but numerical literacy is also a basic life skill,” said Scott VanHoy, a partner at Leeds. “We are excited to partner with Sean and the TouchMath team to support the company’s mission of helping all students develop the foundational math skills that they need and to which they are entitled.”

The acquisition of TouchMath builds upon Leeds’ experience in and commitment to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum and its singular focus on investing in the knowledge industry. “Leeds Equity has a deep track record of success in supporting curriculum providers across the PreK – 12 landscape as they drive innovation and growth,” added Mr. Lockwood. “Our team is thrilled to partner with Leeds as we work to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to excel in mathematics.”

With the close of the transaction, TouchMath becomes Leeds’ tenth platform investment for its seventh fund, Leeds Equity VII LP, which closed at its hard cap of $1.4 billion in November 2021.

“Math scores in the United States illustrate a systemic learning problem as well as the persistent impact of COVID-related learning loss,” said Eric Geveda, a managing director at Leeds. “We are dedicated to providing resources and support to innovators in this field and are so pleased to partner with the entire TouchMath team to continue fostering excellence in mathematics and preparing students for the challenges of a rapidly changing world.”

New York City-based Leeds Equity invests in the education, training, and information services industries. The firm was founded by Jeffrey Leeds and Robert Bernstein in 1993 and has raised more than $5 billion across its seven funds.

“TouchMath is a terrific case study of Millpond’s core strategy of partnering with and assisting in growing, founder-led businesses with strong customer value propositions, recurring demand patterns, and a high level of differentiation,” said Larry Shagrin, a partner at Millpond. “We have a long history of investing in the education market and have demonstrated success in our ability to participate throughout the education ecosystem to grow businesses and enhance services to schools, educators, and students. Similar to TouchMath, we look forward to the opportunity to drive exceptional returns for our investors while serving the unique needs of the education market and working with mission-driven businesses. We wish TouchMath, Sean, his team, and Leeds Equity continued success.”

Backing Leeds’ buy of TouchMath was Monroe Capital which provided a senior credit facility as sole lead arranger and administrative agent.

Monroe Capital (NASDAQ: MRCC) provides senior and junior debt financing to middle-market businesses, special situation borrowers, and private equity sponsors. Investment types include unitranche financings; cash flow, asset-based, and enterprise value-based loans; and equity co-investments. The firm was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Chicago with 10 additional offices throughout the United States and Asia.

“It has been a privilege to collaborate with the TouchMath leadership team to help enhance the business, its product offerings, and its ability to serve educators in achieving exceptional student results,” concluded Jeff Tobin, a partner at Millpond.

Millpond invests in companies with EBITDA from $3 million to $15 million that are active in the education and training, marketing services and sales enablement, healthcare services, and human capital management sectors. The firm is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.

Macquarie Capital was the financial advisor to TouchMath on this transaction.

© 2024 Private Equity Professional | April 19, 2024

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